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'A Gentleman's Guide' leads Tony nominations

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This undaed file theater image released by The O+M Company Jefferson Mays, center, during a performance of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/The O+M Company, Joan Marcus, File) This undaed file theater image released by The O+M Company Jefferson Mays, center, during a performance of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/The O+M Company, Joan Marcus, File)
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By MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," a comedic romp in which a poor man eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, has nabbed a leading 10 Tony Award nominations.

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch," a cult off-Broadway hit that this season stars Neil Patrick Harris, won eight nominations, while "After Midnight," a musical celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club nightclub, got seven, tied with "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" and "Twelfth Night."

"I'm in shock," said Lena Hall, a Broadway veteran who earned a best featured actress in a musical for her gender-bending part beside Harris in the rock show "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

The lesson she said of her nomination -- in addition to always jump at the chance to work with Harris -- is to "do what you believe in and do what you love." Hall, who has appeared in "Cats," "Tarzan" and "Kinky Boots," said she was waiting to call her parents who were still asleep in San Francisco. "I really wasn't expecting this at all. This is crazy."

The nominations announced Tuesday morning also made waves for snubbing some big names, including Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco, Zachary Quinto and Michelle Williams.

The musicals up for the big prize in June are: "After Midnight," "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," `'Aladdin," and `'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical." Shows that failed to make the cut include "Bullets Over Broadway," "Rocky," "If/Then" and "The Bridges of Madison County."

"It's good to be acknowledged," said Andy Karl, who plays Rocky and has transformed his body over three years into a fearsome boxer. "It's nice to know it was worth the time and effort." Of the lack of a best musical nomination for the show, he said he was disappointed, adding: "That's how the Tony cookie crumbles."

Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald earned a leading actress in a play nomination for "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill." That's the one female acting category in which she hasn't already notched at least one win, meaning she is in a position to make history as the Tonys' first grand-slam performance winner.

The best new play category has James Lapine's "Act One," Terrance McNally's "Mothers and Sons," Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way," John Patrick Shanley's "Outside Mullingar" and Harvey Fierstein's "Casa Valentina."

Mark Rylance got two nods: One as a leading actor in a play for "Richard III" and another as a featured role in "Twelfth Night." Stephen Fry also got a nomination for his featured role in "Twelfth Night."

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Online: http://www.tonyawards.com

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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